Placement is the setting in
which your child’s needs can
be met.
Placement does not mean a specific class or school. It is where your child’s program is provided. Your child’s placement is based, among other factors, on the needs and services described in the IEP. Unless your child needs a program that is not offered at your neighborhood school (for example, instruction in American Sign Language), his or her school should be the same one attended by other children in your neighborhood.

Your child should have a chance to learn with other children without disabilities while at school.
Placement must be made in the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE means educating your child with peers without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate (to the extent that it will best meet his or her needs). This means that your child should only be removed from the regular education classroom and peers without disabilities when the nature or severity of the disability prevents her or him from benefiting from education in the regular education classroom, even when supplementary aids and services are provided.

Placement is determined after your child’s needs and services are decided upon.
The decision on where your child is placed is usually added at the IEP meeting after all other information has been discussed. This decision is based on the unique needs of your child and the goals and objectives developed for your child’s eduction, NOT on your child’s eligibility category for special education. In deciding an appropriate placement, the team must also consider any harmful effect of a potential placement, such as social, emotional or medical. Placement decisions should be reviewed at least once a year at the IEP meeting.

Your child’s placement cannot be changed without the agreement of the IEP team.
Because different children have different needs, the law requires that the Department of Education have a continuum or range of different placement choices¬†available for children with special needs–from the regular education classroom (with or without supports) to a special education classroom (for all or part of the day) to a private or special school, to a hospital or residential program, or even the child’s home. Once a placement decision is made, the IEP team (including you) must agree to any subsequent change in placement. If the school is considering a new placement, it must notify you through Prior Written Notice of any proposed change in placement. If you disagree with the proposed change, see DUE PROCESS for possible actions.

If your child transfers from another state and has an IEP, comparable services will be provided.
Upon arrival in Hawaii, give your child’s current IEP (from the previous state) and other related documents to school personnel at your home school (the school serving your new neighborhood). The home school will provide comparable services through an interim IEP and follow the out-of-state IEP to the extent possible until a new evaluation determines eligibility under Hawaii’s eligibility criteria and a new IEP is developed. Implementation of the interim IEP is not a guarantee that your child will be found eligible for special education and related services in Hawaii.

If your child’s public school places
him or her in a private school, the protections of IDEA are still in effect.
When the school or school complex cannot provide a program for your child that meets the needs identified in the IEP, the Department of Education may offer to place your child in a private school at no cost to you. It must ensure that the services provided at the private school meet the student’s individual needs and that your rights under the law are protected. A representative of the home school or the school complex must be involved in IEP decisions as a member of the team.

If you enroll your child in a private school, your child may lose IDEA services.
Once the public school has offered a free appropriate educational program (FAPE) for your child, you may choose to voluntarily place your child in a private school instead. However, the state is not obligated to pay for private school tuition or to guarantee that some or all of the special education and related services needed by the student are provided in the private school setting. Some related services may be offered through the Private School Participation Project (PSPP). Ask your home school principal for more information about this option.

You may request a due process hearing to request payment for
the private school program.
If you disagree that a FAPE is available for your child in the public school, you can file a request for a due process hearing to request payment for the private school program within 180 days of enrolling your child in private school. If the hearing officer finds that the Department of Education (DOE) did not provide FAPE to your child in a timely manner and that the private placement is appropriate, it may require DOE to reimburse you for the cost of the private placement.

This cost of the reimbursement may be reduced or denied for the following reasons: 1) you did not give written notice of your intention to reject the school’s offer of FAPE and to place your child in private school 10 business days prior to removing him or her from public school, or 2) the public school offered to evaluate your child available for the evaluation. The reimbursement cost must NOT be reduced, if the school failed to notify you of your responsibility to give written notice of your intention.

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